Aquiring specimens

With the exception of the Utah mountain kingsnake (Lamptopeltis p. infralabialis) and the Islas Todos Santos kingsnake (Lampropeltis z. herrerae), all examples of mountain kingsnakes have become readily available through captive breeding. Although still not too common at various swaps and shows, mountain kingsnakes can readily be purchased from a great number of private breeders. With the recent "herp market crash" scare, many animals have become more affordable. But due to the fact that most (with exception to some mexicana) mountain kingsnakes regularly only produce single, small clutches, these beauties should bounce back and hold their value. The herpetocultural community has seen a movement, begining with the alterna craze, leading away from generic captive bred specimens to locality specific representations. If anything else, the value of generics will fall out with locale specific examples continuing to hold their worth.

Prices depend strongly on coloration; pick of the litter animals can often sell for more than twice the price of the runts. And of course locality specific animals commend even higher prices. More common subspecies, like the San Luis Potosi mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis m. mexicana), sell cheaply--as low as $45. But expect to pay anywhere from $150 on up for anything high quality. Most cheaper or "swap meet" grade kingsnakes, not matter how beautiful, turn out to be generics. And since mountain kingsnake taxonomy appears confusing at very best, expect to find that somewhere someone has contaminated the bloodline through hybridization. Locality specific zonatas and pyromelanas have reached the market a few years past. But since Mexico closed its borders to reptile collectors some years back, very few new locality specific specimens have been brought into the United States. And, unfortunately, almost all old mexicana have been not bred true to their original founder stock. Very few "pure" mexicana exist; they may take a long time to locate and almost certainly cost "full price."

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